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WD97: How to Minimize Metadata in Microsoft Word Documents
Article ID: 223790 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q223790
Whenever you create, open, or save a document in Microsoft Word 97, the document may contain content that you may not want to share with others when you distribute the document electronically. This information is known as "metadata". Metadata is used for a variety of purposes to enhance the editing, viewing, filing, and retrieval of Microsoft Office documents.
Some metadata is readily accessible through the Microsoft Word user interface; other metadata is only accessible through extraordinary means, such as opening a document in a low-level binary file editor. Here are some examples of metadata that may be stored in your documents:
Metadata is created in a variety of ways within Word documents. As a result, there is no single method that you can use to eliminate all such content from your documents. The following sections describe areas where metadata may be saved in Word documents.
How to Remove Your User Name from Your ProgramsYou can view or change your user name. To do so, follow these steps:
How to Remove Personal Summary InformationWhen you create or save a document in Word, summary information may be saved within the document. There are several methods you can use to access this information:
Removing Personal Summary Information When Connected to a NetworkIf you are logged on to a network, your network user name may appear in the Author edit box on the Summary tab and in the Last saved by field on the Statistics tab, when you save a document. This can occur even if you have removed all other personal information from your computer.
To remove summary information from a document when you are on a network, follow these steps:
How to Remove Comments Within DocumentsMicrosoft Word offers the ability to add comments to documents. Typically, comments contain the name of the person who created them, so that you can tell who wrote them.
Comments typically appear as a highlighted section of text; you can right-click in the comment, and then click Delete Comment.
Any new comments that you create should not contain your user name, because you have removed it from your Options dialog box, as shown above.
How to Remove Headers and Footers from DocumentsHeaders and footers in documents may contain identifying information. To remove information from headers and footers, follow these steps:
How to Remove Revision MarksDocuments can contain revision marks, which allow you to determine who makes specific changes to a document. When you accept or reject revision marks, the revised text is saved in the document, and the revision marks are removed.
How to Disable FastSaveThe FastSave feature speeds up the process of saving a document by saving only the changes that are made to a document.
Because of the design of the FastSave feature, text that you delete from a document may remain in the document, even after you save the document. If you are concerned about deleted text remaining in your documents, follow these steps:
For additional information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/71999/ )WD97: How to disable the Fast Saves option
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/190733/ )WD97: Opening Word document in text editor displays deleted text
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/192480/ )WD97: Frequently asked questions about "Allow Fast Saves
How to Search for and Remove Text Formatted As HiddenIn Word documents, it is possible to format text as hidden. Because hidden text can contain information you may not want to distribute, you may want to unhide and remove it. To remove all of the text in a document that is formatted as hidden, follow these steps:
How to Remove Hyperlinks from DocumentsDocuments may contain hyperlinks to other documents or Web pages on an intranet or the Internet. Hyperlinks usually appear as blue underlined text strings.
You can manually delete a single hyperlink from a document by right-clicking the hyperlink, pointing to Hyperlink on the shortcut menu, and clicking Remove Hyperlink.
If you want to delete all hyperlinks in a document, you can use a Visual Basic for Applications macro to do this. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/156353/ )XL97: No menu choice to select all hyperlinks
How to Remove Styles from DocumentsDocuments may include styles that contain metadata. You can remove these styles or rename them. To do this, follow these steps:
How to Remove Old File Versions from DocumentsWord includes a file version feature that allows you to save multiple versions of the same document within the same file. You may want to delete older versions of the document before you share it with others.
To delete one or more versions of a document, follow these steps:
How to Remove Links from Field CodesLinked images and other objects in Word documents may contain linking information, such as the path to the linked image or object. You can remove linking information from your document by editing the field codes.
To display field codes, follow these steps:
To remove the linking information from a linked image or other object, follow these steps:
How to Remove the Template Name and LocationAll documents created in Word are based on a template. By default, this is the Normal.dot template file, located in the Templates folder. However, you can create a document that is based on a different template in another location. The path and name of this template are stored within the document's properties.
To view the template name and location, click Properties on the File menu and select the Summary tab.
Even if you do not send the template with the document, the document retains the name and location of the template. To change the template name and location to non-identifying values, follow these steps:
How to Remove Routing Slip InformationIf you send a document through e-mail using a routing slip, routing information may be attached to the document. To remove this information from the document, you must save the document in a format that does not retain routing slip information.
In Microsoft Word, save your document in either RTF (Rich Text Format) or HTML format. Close the document, and then reopen the new file. Because the routing slip information is no longer present, you can now save your document in the Microsoft Word format.
You can also follow these steps:
How to Remove the Names of Previous AuthorsWord stores the names of the last 10 people who worked on a document in the document. This is an automatic feature that cannot be disabled.
However, you can remove the names of the last 10 authors from a document by saving the document in a format that does not retain such information. For example, if you save the document in either RTF (Rich Text Format) or HTML format, the authoring information is lost. You can then close and reopen the RTF/HTML document and save it in Microsoft Word format.
How to Remove Your Name from Visual Basic CodeWhen you record a Visual Basic macro in Word, the recorded macro begins with a header similar to the following:
To remove your name from any macros that you have recorded, follow these steps:
How to Remove Visual Basic References to Other FilesIn the Visual Basic Editor, it is possible to create a reference to another file. If a user opens a document that contains references to other files, the user can see the names of the referenced files.
To remove these references, follow these steps:
How to Remove Network or Hard Disk InformationWhen you save a document to your local hard disk or to a network server, information that identifies the local hard disk or network server may be written into the document.
You can remove this information from the document. To do so, follow these steps:
Note: Due to the space limitation of a floppy disk (usually 1.44 MB), this method cannot be used if the document file size exceeds the amount of free space on the floppy disk.
Embedded Objects Within Documents May Contain MetadataIf you embed an object within a document, the object still retains its own properties, regardless of what you do to the document. For example, if you embed a Microsoft Excel workbook within a Word document, the document and the workbook each has its own properties.
You can remove metadata from an embedded object by activating the object, removing any metadata as described above, reactivating the container document (using the above example, this would be the Word document), and then saving the container document.
Note When you activate an embedded object in a document, only part of the embedded object is displayed within the document; the object may contain additional information that does not appear. If you want a document to contain only a rendering of the embedded object and not the actual contents, cut the object and then use the Paste Special item on the Edit menu to paste the object into the document using a Metafile format. After you do this, you can no longer edit the embedded object; however, it will not contain any metadata.
How to Remove Unique Identifiers from Office DocumentsBecause of the design of the programs included in Microsoft Office 97, documents that are created or saved in Office 97 programs may contain a unique identifier.
For additional information about these identifiers and how to remove them, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/222180/ )OFF97: How and why unique identifiers are created in Office documents
General Suggestions Concerning SecurityHere are some general suggestions that you can use to increase the level of security in your computing environment:
For More InformationFor additional information about the topics that are discussed in this article, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/195005/ )WD97: Some document properties populated automatically
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/216866/ )WD97: Summary information under properties is not encrypted
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/178121/ )WD97: No password prompt for "Modify" in mail client
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/194494/ )WD97: Password protection lost when saving as previous versions
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/170940/ )WD97: Password not prompted with first expansion of sub-document
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/223396/ )OFF: How to minimize metadata in Microsoft Office documents
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/223789/ )XL: How to minimize metadata in Microsoft Excel workbooks
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/223793/ )PPT97: How to minimize metadata in Microsoft PowerPoint presentations
Article ID: 223790 - Last Review: September 10, 2012 - Revision: 6.0